Friday, October 8, 2010

Bedtime Stories for the ADD: Family Secrets

“You’re going down, old woman,” the young man said. His tussled hair flicked in the light breeze.

The old woman startled and nearly dropped her left knitting needle. She scowled. “You’d dare challenge your grandmama, Malcolm?” She scorned him and his rainbow button. “I’ve been fighting since before I was even old enough to have the thoughts that led to your mother being born!”

“Don’t get saucy with me, gram! And leave my mother out of this,” Malcolm thrust his metal spatula at her.

She feinted left with a knitting needle and socked him with a rolling pin.

He fell into a fetal position.

She pulled a pile of diced onions from a shoulder pocket and threw it at his eyes. His greatest weakness.

Malcolm started to cry. He jumped up and wiped the onion from his eyes. “Life is hard, Dentures! I’ve grown up on tears and disappointment. They. Make. Me. STRONG!

He swung a bag of flour at her head and she fell to the ground.

Malcolm stood over her. Sweat rolled down his back. “Are you ok, gram?”

She exhaled sharply. “Yes. I’m fine. You’ve beaten me. They’re all yours.”

The old woman reached into her purse and pulled out a weathered and yellowing envelope.

The impetuous young man opened it and read. Brownies: Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, butter, eggs.

“There aren’t any measurements, temperatures, or times, here, grandma.”

“I know. That’s the way I got them, that’s the way you get them. Every martial art takes practice. Even the family recipes.”

She stood up, brushed her dress off, and walked down the dirty, forbidding street. The world would never see her kind again.